According to officials, the fund will initially start by seeking $10m for the Nairobi iHub pilot, but grow to $40m over time targeting other countries across the continent as well.
It will be managed outside of the iHub although key iHub personnel will be engaged to manage the investment pipeline.
Dr Kamal Bhattacharya, the iHub CEO notes that the move is in a bid to ensure iHub becomes the best African support system for ICT focused tech entrepreneurs and individuals who aspire to create great companies that tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.
The fund, according to Bhattacharya, is part of iHub’s three product lines of Entrepreneurship Journey, Innovation Journey and Investment instruments.
The Entrepreneurship Journey product line will offer services such as incubation, program facilitation and the iHub Academy, a new product focusing on locally relevant technical training, the Innovation Journey product line will support public and private sector to get closer in practical ways to the iHub constituency.
iHub will also continue to offer incubation services under the iHub brand for engagement workshops to help clients think through their problems and come up with solutions that make sense.
The hub will do Market Research, software development services, provide alpha-testing and offer startups and corporates from other parts of the world in-depth engagement by hosting members of their teams for a while, rather than or prior to setting up their own innovation centers.
Also to note, in a significant change from the current free for all model, the organisation will introduce several membership tiers, starting as low as $60 per month.